The Grade Center
Manually adding columns and grades to Grade Center
How do students view their grades in Blackboard?
Downloading and backing up a Blackboard Grade Center
Weighting grades in the Grade Center
Including extra credit in Grade Center calculations.
Submitting final grades to the Registrar
When an instructor deploys a test or adds an assignment using the features within Blackboard, these are automatically added as items in Grade Center. If you added a test, depending on the type of questions (barring short answer and essay) and whether or not the test requires instructor feedback, Blackboard will automatically grade the test and enter a score for each student who has taken the test. For items that are not included as part of the Blackboard course site tool set, such as Attendance or projects/assignments that will be graded outside of Blackboard, columns can be added manually to Grade Center:
From the Control Panel, click on " Full Grade Center" under the Grade Center section.
Click on "Create Column".
Name the item. This will become the column header in the Grade Center. Columns will only accommodate 15 characters. If you'd like to create a shortened version, you can do so in the Grade Center Name field.
Select how the grade should be displyed (Score, Percentage, Letter, Text, etc.).
Primary display is how students see the socre in My Grades, and it also determines how you will enter the grade. If you want the stuetns to view their scores as percentages, then you will need to enter a percentage in this column in the Grade Center. Whatever the primary display is determines how grades must be entered. For this reason it is often best to leave most columns set to Score.
The Secondary View is optional and is only viewable by instructors. This is a great place to add Percentage.
It is not recommended to use the Letter unless you have confirmed that the Grading Schema (under Manage in the Full Grade Center) matches your course grading scale.
Use the drop-down menu to select a category.
Enter the total possible points.
- If you have created a Rubric within Blackboard, you can also associate that with the assignment. Make sure to adjust the "Show Rubric to Students" to Yes so that students can see it.
You may also add a Due Date to the column.
Select the appropriate "yes" or "no" radio buttons under "Options" to indicate if the column is going to be counted in the total score and displayed to students.
Video Tutorial for Creating a Column in the Grade Center
Video Tutorial for Entering Grades in the Grade Center
Students view their grades through the front end of a course site. In the Navigation Menu a student clicks on Tools from the Course Menu. Among all the available tools, students have access to a link entitled "My Grades". All available items with their respective grades and instructor feedback are located here. It's important that, as the instructor, you don't hide the My Grades tool or disable the link through the "Tool Availability" section.
Video Tutorial for My Grades (Student View)
Let us be very clear about Grade Center: It is NOT recommended that you use Bb Grade Center as your only tool for recording students' grades. Blackboard is meant to be a communication tool. It is a great way to let the students know how they are doing, but, as with anything electronic, it is not wise not to have a back-up, regardless of how you record students' grades. We highly recommend a hard copy of the grades. We all know, computers crash, technology stalls, and digital storage can accidently be wiped clean. Now, if you don't take our advice, it is highly recommended...in fact, let's make that a mandatory recommendation, that you back up your electronic Gradebook on a regular basis, (weekly, if not every time you add in student grades) and most definitely at the end of each semester as you close out your course site.
From the Control Panel click on "Full Grade Center" under Grade Center.
Click on "Download" from the Work Offline button.
Leave all selections in Download Grades screen set to their defaults.
On the next screen, click on the ‘Download' button, click Save and select a place on your computer or flashdrive to save the file. Blackboard will format the Gradebook into an Excel spreadsheet which can then be manipulated as needed.
Video Tutorial for Downloading the Grade Center
WARNING: There are inherent problems in the method used for determining weighted grades within the Blackboard Grade Center; so, instructors are advised to use weighting with caution. As per Blackboard Help - The Adjust Grade Center Weights page lists the points possible for each item [e.g. exam grade] - the weighting formula assumes that each item has the same points possible. If items have different points possible, for example a quiz may have 20 points possible and a test may have 100 points possible, weighting them will not give an accurate measure of student performance.
Grades can be weighted by Item or Category. To weight grades:
From the Control Panel click on "Full Grade Center" under Grade Center.
Click on "Create Calculated Column" and chose "Weighted Column".
- Name the item. This will become the column header in the Grade Center. Columns will only accommodate 15 characters. If you'd like to create a shortened version, you can do so in the Grade Center Name field.
- Select how the grade should be displyed (Score, Percentage, Letter, Text, etc.).
- Primary display is how students see the socre in My Grades. For a weighted column, it is best to leave it as Percentage.
- The Secondary View is optional and is only viewable by instructors.
- It is not recommended to use the Letter unless you have confirmed that the Grading Schema (under Manage in the Full Grade Center) matches your course grading scale.
- Select either Items or Categories to include in the column. Provide a percentage for each item/category selected.
- The total weight percentage must equal 100%.
- Select Yes for "Calculate as a running total" to calculate the weight as a running total to include only the Columns that have been graded . Select No to include all items, which might be a little disconcerting to students because ungraded columns will be calculated as 0% in the weighted total column.
- Select the appropriate "yes" or "no" radio buttons under "Options" to indicate if the column is going to be counted in the total score and displayed to students.
- Click "Submit".
Video Tutorial for Creating a Weighted Column
Extra credit cannot be included if you are using weighted grades. If you are using the Total Score, however, you can include extra credit: From within the Gradebook, add a new column and name it ‘Extra Credit' or similar. Assign it ‘0' points and select display as ‘Score'. Manually add the extra credit points for each student. Those students who do not earn extra credit or for whom it does not apply will not be penalized.
An instructor can easily submit final grades (at the end of semester) through Blackboard. The final grade submission process electronically dumps grades into Jenzabar, the management system.
To submit final grades through Blackboard:
From the Control Panel of the selected course, select Submit Final Grades from under Course Tools.
A student's total points score will be carried over from the gradebook. Using the Final Grade dropdown menu select the correct grade for each student. Instructors may select from A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F, P. All other grades, including I (for incomplete) must be submitted in person to the Registrar, using the grade form.
An instructor may save the entered grades without submitting them to the Registrar by selcting the Save button. This permits an instructor to come back and submit the grades at a later time.
When final grades are ready to be submitted, check the check boxes under the Submit Grades column.
- DO NOT check any boxes until you are ready to submit grades for all students who have completed your course. It is best to submit all studetns at once to avoid Jenzabar file errors.
- DO NOT save grades once boxes have been checked. Saving checked grades will result in a submission error, which will not let you back in to make changes, but the grades do not end up in Jenzabar.
Click on the Submit button. If grades have been submitted successfully a date and time will populate under the Submission Date column and the Submit Grades checkboxes and actual grades will be grayed out.
Instructors cannot resubmit grades electronically through Blackboard. If any changes need to be to a student's grade this must be done in person, with the Registrar.
Performance Dashboard is a great tool that tracks student's participation and work progress. An instructor can view the last time a student accessed the course site; how many times they have used the Discussion Board and what Forums they have participated in; information on items that are defined by Review Status or Adaptive Release. From the Control Panel click on Performance Dashboard under Evaluation to review such information on student progress.